Central African Republic faces division along religious lines

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Jeffrey Feltman

The Central African Republic is facing the long-term danger of being polarized along religious lines according to the head of the UN Department of Political Affairs.

Jeffrey Feltman said since communal violence erupted on 5 December, over 750 casualties have been confirmed in the capital Bangui alone.

Mr. Feltman told the Security Council on Monday that the death toll outside Bangui, is likely to be substantial.

"Access to residential neighborhoods in Bangui is controlled either by "anti-Christian" or "anti-Muslim" checkpoints, manned by armed civilians. Similarly, localities outside Bangui like Bossangoa, Bouar, Bozoum and Paoua, amongst others, witness atrocities on a daily basis, including direct clashes between the Christian and Muslim communities. The danger of escalation into sustained violence along religious lines remains real, with the potential for long-term danger to the country." (29")

 

Mr. Feltman said that several African countries have repatriated tens of thousands of their citizens, the vast majority of whom are Muslims.

He told the Security Council that this is the first time in the history of the Central African Republic that people, have felt obliged to flee the country on account of their religion.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

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